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May 23, 2022



Slovak Defense Ministry gives Romani community member Richard Koky award for his contribution to fighting COVID-19, he calls on everyone to get vaccinated

16.11.2021 7:52
Romani community member Richard Koky won the award for the
Romani community member Richard Koky won the award for the "Friend of the Army" category in Slovakia's annual Military Deed of the Year ceremony for 2021. (Collage:

The Defense Ministry of the Slovak Republic has announced the winners of its 24th annual Military Deed of the Year ceremony. Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď (Ordinary People and Independent Personalities - OLANO) said the stories featured in this annual event have humanity and readiness to go above and beyond what is required in common. 

For his contribution to building civilian-military relations, spreading the good name of the armed forces of the Slovak Republic and raising awareness about military history, retired professional soldier Richard Koky has been given an award in the "Friend of the Army" category. The award recognizes his exceptional aid to and collaboration with military personnel who have been on the front line of combating the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on the territory of marginalized Romani settlements, where he worked as a field expert for the national "Healthy Communities" project and as a staffer of the Health Ministry's "Healthy Regions" organization.  

The award was received on his behalf by the editor-in-chief of the ministry's magazine, Obrana (Defense), Pavol Vitko, who had nominated Koky and who delivered a message of thanks from him to those present at the ceremony. "Mr Koky has contracted a regular autumn virus, he apologizes that he cannot be here in person, but a close relative of his has died of COVID-19 and they are arranging the funeral. He himself is really looking forward to getting a third shot of the vaccine, and he is recommending and imploring everybody to get vaccinated. That is the message from the award-winner," Vitko said.  

The Defense Minister also quoted the words of Czechoslovak General Milan Rastislav Štefánik to the assembled soldiers during the gala ceremony. "'May each of us be better today than he was yesterday and may our homeland be great and glorious.' To be better, to do more - these are exactly the kinds of actions that the Military Deed of the Year is about," the minister said.  

The winners in the category of public assistance were Ladislav Parma, Viktor Frančiak, Ondřej Hlavatý and the team of the First Anti-Aircraft Missile Group. In the category of homeland service, Radek Belan was awarded for extraordinary performance of tasks and duties. 

In the category of life saving, Lieutenant Ladislav from the Fifth Special Purpose Regiment in Žilina won. "He helped heroically in responding to a car accident, using his bare hands and the tourniquets he always carries with him to stop the bleeding of an injured woman," a spokesperson said.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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